The Mount Vernon History Teacher of the Year Award is presented annually to a Washington, D.C. Metro area History or Social Studies teacher who brings creativity and passion to his or her classroom; instills a love of learning in students; and deepens student understanding and appreciation of history. 

Meet the 2017 Mount Vernon History Teacher of the Year:

Gretchen Snyder is a history teacher at Westfield High School in Chantilly, Virginia. She also serves as the Social Studies Department Chair and National History Day Coordinator for her school. Gretchen has developed numerous inquiry-based curriculum materials based on the National Council for Social Studies C3 Frameworks for Fairfax County Public Schools.  

Of her work, she says, “I strive not only to meet the demands of educating a wide variety of students, but to do so in a way that inspires life-long learning and passion for the study of history. As I firmly believe that all students deserve to be engaged, challenged and appropriately supported in the classroom, I am continuously looking for ways to better meet the needs of all students.”

2017 Mount Vernon History Teacher of the Year Runner-Up

Lindsey Fisher, a history teacher at McLean High School in McLean, Virginia was selected as the runner-up for this year's award.

Read the Press Release

Do you know an exceptional History Teacher in the Washington, D.C. area?

The Prize

The winner of the Mount Vernon History Teacher of the Year will receive a $5,000 cash award, as well as an all-expense paid trip to George Washington's Mount Vernon for up to 200 students (inclusive of bus transportation, tickets to the Estate, and lunch vouchers).

The Mount Vernon Teacher of the Year runner-up will receive tickets to George Washington's Mount Vernon for up to 75 students and chaperones. 

Application Procedure

Teachers may submit a self-nomination or be nominated by a colleague. 

  • Resume: A two page (maximum) resume that includes mention of teaching grants or honors, curriculum materials created, and educational initiatives or programs with which the teacher has been involved.
  • Essay: For self-nominations, please provide a two-page (maximum) essay describing how you address the award criteria in your classroom, as well as your teaching philosophy and goals. For nominations made by a colleague, please provide a two-page (maximum) essay describing how the nominated teacher addresses the award criteria in his or her classroom and why you believe he or she is deserving of this honor. 
  • Letters of Support: A letter of support from the teacher’s school principal or county superintendent attesting to his or her skill as a history teacher, as well as a letter of support from a colleague or department chair.
  • Educational Materials: Sample educational materials used in the classroom that highlight the use of primary sources such as documents and/or material culture. 

Award Criteria

  • Full-time teachers, with at least two years of experience, who teach American history at the elementary, middle, or high school level
  • Creativity and accuracy in lesson development and classroom teaching
  • Ability to integrate primary sources such as documents and material culture into the study of history
  • Dedication to improving their students' understanding of historical content as well as fostering their knowledge of the importance of the study of history
  • Ability to cultivate in their students an abiding interest in and passion for the study of history
  • Must teach in Washington, D.C or the following counties or cities in Virginia and Maryland: Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fredericksburg, Loudoun, Prince William, Stafford, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Baltimore County, Carroll, Charles, Frederick, Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George's.
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